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Fast and lightweight set for unsigned 32 bits integers.

Project Description

An efficient and light-weight ordered set of 32 bits integers. This is a Python wrapper for the C library CRoaring.

The wrapping used to be done with Ctypes. We recently switched to Cython for the following reasons:

  • Much better performances for short function calls (e.g. addition/deletion of a single element).
  • Easier installation, no need to install manually the C library, it is now distributed with PyRoaring.
  • Extensibility, it will be easier to write efficient codes with Cython (e.g. some data structures based on roaring bitmaps).

If for some reason you wish to keep using the old version, based on Ctypes, use PyRoaring 0.0.7.


  • Environment like Linux and MacOS
  • Python 2.7, or Python 3.3 or better
  • A recent C compiler like GCC
  • The Python package hypothesis (optional, for testing)
  • The Python package Cython (optional, for compiling pyroaring from the sources)


To install pyroaring and the CRoaring library on your local account, use the following two lines:

pip install pyroaring --user # installs PyRoaringBitMap

To install them system-wide, use the following lines :

pip install pyroaring

Naturally, the latter may require superuser rights (consider prefixing the commands by sudo).

(If you want to use Python 3 and your system defaults on Python 2.7, you may need to adjust the above commands, e.g., replace pip by pip3 and python by python3.)

Manual compilation / installation

If you want to compile (and install) pyroaring by yourself, for instance to modify the Cython sources or because you do not have pip, follow these steps. Note that the Python package Cython is required.

Clone this repository.

git clone
cd PyRoaringBitMap

Build pyroaring locally, e.g. to test a new feature you made.

python build_ext -i
python # run the tests, optionnal but recommended

Install pyroaring (use this if you do not have pip).

python install # may require superuser rights, add option --user if you wish to install it on your local account

Package pyroaring.

python sdist
pip install dist/pyroaring-0.1.?.tar.gz # optionnal, to install the package


First, you can run the tests to make sure everything is ok:

pip install hypothesis --user

You can use a bitmap nearly as the classical Python set in your code:

from pyroaring import BitMap
bm1 = BitMap()
bm2 = BitMap([3, 27, 42])
print("bm1       = %s" % bm1)
print("bm2       = %s" % bm2)
print("bm1 & bm2 = %s" % (bm1&bm2))
print("bm1 | bm2 = %s" % (bm1|bm2))


bm1       = BitMap([3, 18])
bm2       = BitMap([3, 27, 42])
bm1 & bm2 = BitMap([3])
bm1 | bm2 = BitMap([3, 18, 27, 42])


The built-in set is compared with pyroaring, a Cython implementation of Roaring bitmaps called roaringbitmap, and a Python implemenntation of ordered sets called sortedcontainers.

Quick benchmarks for common operations

The script measures the time of different set operations. It uses randomly generated sets of size 1e6 and density 0.125. For each operation, the average time (in seconds) of 30 tests is reported.

The results have been obtained with:

  • CPython version 3.5.2
  • pyroaring commit 2ccc0bf6e428d771061499440bcde0ca0fa2a946
  • roaringbitmap commit 95ca18f902389464d15732d35de7be868d660ed2
  • sortedcontainers version 1.5.7
operation pyroaring roaringbitmap set sortedcontainers
range constructor 1.39e-04 1.35e-04 5.41e-02 1.85e-01
ordered list constructor 3.27e-02 1.61e-01 1.64e-01 5.09e-01
list constructor 1.23e-01 1.55e-01 9.76e-02 4.64e-01
ordered array constructor 3.69e-03 2.81e-01 8.10e-02 2.83e-01
array constructor 1.17e-01 4.95e-01 1.47e-01 4.97e-01
element addition 1.79e-07 1.77e-07 1.39e-07 9.39e-07
element removal 1.81e-07 1.73e-07 1.27e-07 3.09e-07
membership test 8.99e-08 1.15e-07 9.50e-08 4.23e-07
union 1.80e-04 1.61e-04 1.47e-01 9.15e-01
intersection 8.99e-04 9.12e-04 4.61e-02 1.45e-01
difference 1.92e-04 1.60e-04 1.26e-01 4.24e-01
symmetric diference 1.81e-04 1.60e-04 1.81e-01 7.71e-01
equality test 7.99e-05 6.40e-05 1.93e-02 1.86e-02
subset test 8.22e-05 8.26e-05 1.84e-02 1.83e-02
conversion to list 4.39e-02 4.19e-02 5.40e-02 5.05e-02
pickle dump & load 6.51e-04 6.23e-04 2.42e-01 4.47e-01
“naive” conversion to array 4.83e-02 4.65e-02 1.06e-01 1.06e-01
“optimized” conversion to array 1.37e-03 nan nan nan
selection 9.29e-07 5.77e-07 nan 1.34e-05
slice 5.34e-02 1.42e-01 nan 7.63e-01

Complete benchmark for the union

The performances of the union operation have been measured more carefully. Full results can be found here.

To sum up, both Roaring bitmap implementations are several orders of magnitude faster than the built-in set, regardless of the density of the data.

For sparse data, pyroaring is faster than cyroaring, for very dense data cyroaring is faster. Otherwise, they are similar.

Release History

Release History

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pyroaring-0.1.4.tar.gz (222.2 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source May 16, 2017

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